Can You Get Your Dog Sick?

Is it possible for you to get your dog sick? Zoonotic diseases are those which humans and animals can share. The most likely human-to-dog illnesses include those which are bacteria-borne and parasite-borne. Improvements in sanitation and medicine have made these diseases much less common or acute, but simple precautions can further ensure your dog will not become ill.

Prevention Is Key

A healthy dog is far less likely to become sick from any disease and a healthy dog starts with a healthy diet. A well-balanced meal is fresh and unprocessed, full of variety and made with high quality ingredients without additives or preservatives. A wholesome diet may be the single most important factor in maintaining your dog’s good health. Because dogs are omnivores, feeding meat and plant material will support your dog’s natural nutritional instincts.

Nutrition does not only include food which your dog consumes, but also water, which must be of high quality. Fresh, filtered and chemical-free, the water you drink is perfect for your dog. Chlorine and fluoride chemical additives can be just as harmful for your dog as for you.


Your dog’s living environment plays a huge role in his well-being. Bacteria and parasites, the causes of most disease shared by humans and dogs, thrive in unsanitary conditions. Dogs who are housed in areas where feces is not picked up, those whose water and food containers are not washed regularly, and dogs who live where stagnant water collects are far more likely to develop chronic illness.

Your dog will also greatly benefit from a healthy home environment which is stress-free and where his emotional needs are met. Your dog’s home should be physically safe and protected from the elements, but should also include your companionship to meet his need for social interaction.

Parasite Challenge

Parasites are organisms which can live in or on your dog. All dogs have parasites, but not all parasites are harmful. Fleas and ticks can be only minor annoyances if your dog enjoys good health because these parasites do not plague dogs with robust immune systems. On the other hand, a sickly dog is likely to become miserable from even a single bite from a flea or tick. Internal parasites, such as intestinal worms or heartworms, can similarly be more well-tolerated by a healthy dog who is capable of mounting his own defense which will keep these parasites in check.

Annual Veterinary Exam

In addition to a healthy diet and environment, the annual veterinary health examination is an important component in maintaining your dog’s optimum health and disease-free status. Small problems and subtle changes in your dog may be detected by his veterinarian before they develop into larger ones. Dogs are expert at living stoically with health problems, keeping them hidden from even the most conscientious owner. An annual exam will give his veterinarian the opportunity to know your dog’s normal status and be able to identify anything out of the ordinary.

By maintaining your dog’s lifestyle to include physical, as well as, emotional well-being, you are laying the foundation for good health.